Phu Quoc needs permanent solution after historic floods

Authorities in Phu Quoc said the island must find a permanent solution to its flooding problem after it experienced the worst flooding in its history this month.

Residentsevacuated from a flooded area on Phu Quoc Island on August 9 (Photo: e.vnexpress.net)

 



The island, a touristhotspot in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, has sufferedtorrential downpours brought by Typhoon Wipha, which submerged thousands ofhouses. 

As of August 11 morning,the district continued to experience rain but the rainfall was not as heavy asin previous days. The water level has fallen and many families have returned totheir homes.

Mai Van Huynh, Secretaryof the Party Committee and Chairman of the People’s Committee of Phu Quocdistrict, said climate change was one of the reasons for the flooding.

The total rainfallfrom August 2 to August 9 was more than 1,000mm. On August 9 alone, therainfall reached 335mm, higher than the total rainfall of 1997 which was 327mm,he said.

The record rainfalloccurred in a short time, coinciding with rising sea levels, affecting thedrainage system that takes water from rivers and streams to the sea, he said.

The system, built in2003, has become overloaded due to an increase in population and tourists inrecent years.

According to Phu Quoc district’s Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Rescue, heavy rainover the past few days has left around 8,424 houses flooded, 24 othersdestroyed or without roofs and a large area of crop devastated. The totaldamage was estimated at over 107 billion VND (4.6 million USD).

Some 63 km of roadswere under 0.7-2 metres of water. Fortunately, no casualties were reported inthe district.

The districtauthority has mobilised local rescue teams and soldiers to evacuate nearly2,000 people. Thousands of free meals have been supplied for households whohave been affected by flooding.

Huynh said after theflood receded, the island would review the drainage system and dredge rivers,streams and canals to prevent garbage from obstructing the flow of water.

Authorities wouldstep up inspection of construction to dismantle illegal encroachments, hesaid. 

They would alsotake measures to ensure the safety of people living in flooded areas, hepromised.

Authorities wouldfocus on disinfection to prevent diseases. 

Duong Dong town’sdrainage system would be upgraded and canal and river encroachment would becleared, Huynh said.

On August 10, nationalflag carrier Vietnam Airlines said that 14 flights were added on the Hanoi-PhuQuoc route and HCM City-Phu Quoc route, raising the number of flights to 32 intotal, to transport passengers affected by the bad weather.

Earlier, manyairlines cancelled flights, leaving 1,560 passengers stranded, after an unrelentingdownpour flooded the runway of the Phu Quoc International airport.-VNA

 
 
 
 
 
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